Motorbike gadgets come in all shapes and sizes. Some are just about aesthetics, while others can actually make your everyday journeys easier and safer. Here are some of our favourite gadgets.
This isn't so much an optional extra as an absolute must have for any rider who's out on the road. Every bike owner is bound to have their own comprehensive toolbox at home, but bringing the full works along for the ride is completely impractical. Instead, invest in a handy, pocket sized multi-tool, one that comprises of hex wrenches, sockets and a socket driver, and you'll be one step ahead if you need to make a roadside repair. You can even find multi-tools designed to be worn like a bracelet for the ultimate in handy transportation.
Getting an unexpected flat in the middle of nowhere can turn a dream ride into a nightmare. Making sure you have a good quality tube repair kit that comes with CO2 canisters to re-inflate a tyre as well as a complete patch kit could turn a potential disaster day into just an inconvenience.
Unfortunately, motorcycle theft is on the rise. Figures from the Metropolitan Police Service suggest a 44% rise in motorcycle theft in London alone. Avoid this scenario by taking extra steps to secure your bike. There are locks on the market made of high strength stainless steel with a built in alarm, triggered by motion and shock, for extra protection.
This is the age of video and many riders wish to record their journeys. But do your research carefully before you buy. Choose a streamlined, bullet-shaped model that fits unobtrusively to your helmet, as anything too bulky can cause extra drag or even prove a dangerous distraction while out on the road. Alternatively, there are tiny cameras that can be fitted to your sunglasses, recording a true view of everything you see when out on the open road.
An excellent GPS system, specifically designed to fit a motorcycle, will save you lots of time and hassle when navigating around an unfamiliar place. Choose a model with a glove friendly display to avoid any frustrating typos.
If you're carrying electronic gadgets or even heading out for a long ride with your smartphone, it's wise to invest in something that can provide a little power should you run out of juice. Some chargers even come with cables to help jumpstart your bike.
The wind in your hair might feel great, but the wind in your ears can prove a pain if you're trying to listen to navigation directions, music, take a phone call or communicate with other riders. Use a Bluetooth headset and intercom for crisp sound quality and hands-free control.
Riding with all your essentials in your pockets can disrupt your comfort while out on the road, and sometimes a backpack flapping around in the wind can be more trouble than it's worth. Instead, invest in a tail bag that attaches neatly to your bike. This the perfect place to stash your phone and wallet, and is ideal for bringing along a repair kit, bike lock and any other essentials.
A radar detector will alert you when you're coming close to the speed limit. Invest in one that can deal with all manner of weather conditions as well as the vibrations of your bike. Many radar detectors that have been specially designed for motorcycle use will be able send any warnings to a helmet display unit, so you will be discreetly alerted in the periphery of your vision.
Less of a gadget and more an essential piece of protective gear, your helmet could save your life. But today's modern versions combine safety and technology. Augmented reality helmets have built-in 18 degree blind post cameras for total situational awareness; others have built-in GPS. Your helmet will travel everywhere with you and your bike, you may as well treat yourself to the best.
Remember, many bike policies don't cover these gadgets as standard. If you'd like to check what's covered in your Hastings Direct motorbike policy, give our customer service team a call on 0333 321 9801 and they'll be happy to answer all your questions.